Recipes

Roast Porcelet with Sausage and Apples

Because ham is so last year
6 Ratings
100% would make again
Roast Porcelet with Pork-Apple Sausage
Photo: Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table

It's time to skip the ham this year and get fancy with your Christmas roast. Which is why we're introducing you to the porcelet, the side piece of a young, milk-fed pig that includes the belly, loin and ribs. By removing the ribs and some of the belly, you are left with the perfect pork canvas to be filled with ground pork-and-apple sausage, and then rolled into a roast. But there's more. The pork is served over a bed of braised cabbage, alongside roast turnips and apples, then finished with an apple butter mustard sauce you'll want to pour on just about everything.

If you can't find porcelet, you can recreate the cut yourself. Purchase a 7-pound piece of skin-on pork belly with the ribs attached, and then just remove the ribs and enough belly so you have only ¾ inch of meat over the skin (this will be about 3½ pounds). Place a 1-pound pork tenderloin along the bottom of the belly and continue following the recipe by adding the sausage, rolling and tying.

As for the extra pork belly, you could grind it up and use it to make the sausage portion of the recipe, or you could save it and braise, sauté or grill it later. Consider this the holiday feast that keeps on giving.

To learn more, read “Fancy Feast.”

Roast Porcelet with Sausage and Apples

Recipe adapted from chef/owner Tom Colicchio and executive chef Bryan Hunt, Fowler & Wells, New York, NY

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes, plus resting time

Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes, plus resting time

Ingredients

For the Porcelet:

1 pound ground pork

½ Honeycrisp apple, cored and coarsely grated

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon minced sage

1 tablespoon minced thyme

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch ground white pepper

One 8-to-9-pound porcelet, ribs removed and loin still attached (see headnote)

3 tablespoons olive oil

For the Braised Cabbage:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large head red cabbage—quartered, cored and thinly sliced

1 cup red wine

⅓ cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Roast Apples and Turnips:

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 bunches (2 pounds) Hakurei turnips, trimmed and halved

3 Honeycrisp apples, cored and cut into ¾-inch wedges

2 tablespoons sage leaves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Sauce and Serving:

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Kosher salt, to taste

Apple butter, for serving

Directions

1. Prepare the porcelet: Preheat the oven to 350º. In a medium bowl, mix the ground pork, apples, salt, sage, thyme, ginger, sugar, cinnamon and white pepper thoroughly to incorporate.

2. On a cutting board, lay out the porcelet, skin-side down. Remove the ribs and any bones, leaving you with the pork belly and attached loin. Using a sharp knife, trim the pork belly, leaving ¾ inch of meat attached to the skin. Season the inside of the belly with salt, then spread the ground pork mixture along the center of the belly above the loin.

3. Starting from the loin, roll the porcelet tightly into a log, then tie with butcher’s twine into a roast.

4. In a roasting pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the porcelet roast, turning as needed, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cook in the oven until a thermometer inserted through one of the ends reads 140º, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Make sure you are getting a read from the ground pork mixture since that is the center.

5. Meanwhile, braise the cabbage: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, covered, until the cabbage is tender but still has a firmness to it, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside until ready to reheat for plating.

6. Make the roast apples and turnips: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turnips and cook, flipping as needed, until the turnips are golden brown and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a sheet pan.

7. To the skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook, turning as needed until golden brown and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the sheet pan with the turnips. Toss the turnips and apples with the sage leaves and butter, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside, then flash-heat the sheet pan in the oven for 5 minute before you are ready to plate.

8. Make the sauce: Transfer the cooked porcelet to a cutting board and tent with foil; let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, transfer the pan drippings to a measuring cup to allow the fat to separate.

9. Pour off most of the fat, so you are left with ½ cup of pan drippings. Whisk in the mustards and season with salt. As you carve the roast into 1-inch slices, add any drippings on the board to the sauce, adjusting the seasoning as needed.

10. Fan out the pork slices on a serving board over the braised cabbage and alongside the roast apples and turnips, apple butter, and remaining sauce, then serve.

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